The articles below delve into the wonderful energy saving world that is Virtualization. For the uninitiated Virtualization is the art of running multiple operating systems on a single item of physical hardware (commonly a server).
For the past few months I’ve been using an in house script to manage the rebooting of Virtual Machines on Hyper-V hosts following Windows Updates. These Virtual Machines also take part in Hyper-V Replica Replication to a DR host. On occasion I’ve spotted that when shutting down (as part of the reboot sequence) the Hyper-V Replica state will go into a Error ‘Critical’ state.
As it transpires this happens when the machine is shutting down and Hyper-V replica is attempting to create a reference point to send replica data over to the DR host.
The best fix I have at the moment for this issue is to suspend replication (you can use the Suspend-VMReplication PowerShell Cmdlet as documented here – https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/itpro/powershell/windows/hyper-v/suspend-vmreplication to accomplish this) before shutting down the machine and then resuming replication (Resume-VMReplication and https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/itpro/powershell/windows/hyper-v/resume-vmreplication) once shutdown is complete.
You will also note this issue noted under Hyper-V-VMMS in Event Viewer with Event IDs along the lines of 19060, 33680, 32546 and 32026.
While working on my most recent Hyper-V Replica PowerShell script when attempting to reverse replication from a source Hyper-V host to the a target host using Certificate authentication I was getting the error message…
Hyper-V failed to establish a connection with the Replica server ‘<target hostname>’ on port ‘443’. Error: The connection with the server was terminated abnormally (0x00002EFE).
As it turns out I had recently deleted and created a new certificate for the target host and as such there was no certificate listed in Hyper-V Settings > Replication Configuration. The fix was to set the replacement certificate in the box provided. See the screenshots below for a little more…
Have been having a bit of an interesting issue over the past few weeks whereby our Hyper-V Hosts (Dell T430 Tower Servers) would loose network connectivity at seemingly random intervals; the only resolution was to restart the server or to remove and replace the network cable.
After much investigation looking at the servers and associated network switch we discovered that only the Virtual Switches attached to the on board Broadcom NetXtreme adapters were having issues and that the Intel PCI card NICs were not.
That soon lead onto Microsoft KB 2986895 which relieved a known bug in the drivers for the Broadcom adapters that messed up the Virtual Machine Queues (VMQ) feature of Hyper-V causing a loss in network connectivity. The fix is either to update the driver to a version that does not have the issue or to disable VMQ.
More details can be found in this Microsoft KB… https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2986895
In this final post we’ll cover the Configuration of Network Settings and setup of Remote Management for a Hyper-V 2012 R2 Server which will be managed from a Windows 10 Enterprise PC.
There are quite a few steps to go through for this part of the configuration of the Hyper-V deployment however a number of these steps can be applied to the servers through Group Policy and thus removing the need to repeat them again.
First up we will configure the management network adapter and domain join the Hyper-V host…
After a fair few months of work and with support from the team at PACKT my new book (Microsoft Application Virtualization Cookbook) is out on sale.
With over 60 recipes for the practical application of Microsoft Application Virtualization (Version 5) from every angle including…
- Setting up your first App-V infrastructure
- Deploying the software clients and prerequisites
- Sequencing applications into packages
- Publishing applications and connection groups to your clients
- Integrating with XenDesktop, Microsoft Remote Desktop Services and System Centre Configuration Manager
- and lots more!
In this post I’ll be going through the installation of Hyper-V Server on our Dell T430 hosts. Remember you can download and use Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 for free (link) however you must still license the guest Operating Systems.
I’ll be configuring a 80GB partition for the OS with the remainder of the storage set aside for the virtual machines – remember this is a UEFI based system so you can have single partitions over 2TB in size (in this case we will have a 2.7TB data partition) on the same disk as the boot partition.
In this post I will be covering the basic configuration of iDRAC as well as getting ready for the installation of Windows Hyper-V Server 2012 R2.
In this server configuration I have plugged a network cable into port 1 of the on-board NIC which will (initially) be used to host iDRAC, the management connection for the OS as well as shared with the first virtual switch. At the time of writing there was a limited number of free network ports on the server room switch – a later post will show a fully configured setup.
First up booting into iDRAC…
Next is configuring the iDRAC interface and setting a password to limit access; not that with iDRAC Express the port used by iDRAC can also be shared with the Operating System; with DRAC Enterprise you get a dedicated management card which has its own NIC.
Finally iDRAC is particularly useful with a quick and easy setup of your RAID array as well as streamlining the installation of Windows Server by presenting the installer with a complete set of drivers at install time (saving a significant amount of time later on by removing the need to hunt down and install the drivers yourself!).
In the next post I’ll be going through the steps to install Windows Hyper-V Server 2012 R2.
Time for a new series of posts! In this series I will be looking at the end to end deployment of a pair of Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 hosts along with supporting services including networking and backup. This kind of deployment is an excellent option for anyone who is looking to run Virtualisation but without the cost of VMWare or a SAN (Storage Area Network). In this first post I’ll outline the goals of this project along with the hardware I’ll be using.
- To configure iDRAC 8 Express for out of band management
- To install Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2
- To configure network settings and enable remote management
A few points to note…
- Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 is completely free! (allowing you to access the latest Hyper-V technology regardless of your licencing level)
- You must still have a valid licence for any guest operating systems (in this case I am using two Server 2008 R2 Datacentre licences as there will be no VMs using anything higher than Server 2008 R2)
- Datacentre licencing allows you to run an unlimited number of VMs on that host at that OS level or lower (subject to extra licencing concerns over additional CPU sockets)
- Hyper-V Server is effectively a super cut down version of Windows Server Core – there are no different drivers and the management tools are just the same
- You can find out more about Hyper-V Server on TechNet here – https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh833684.aspx
Dell T430 Hosts
Purchased specifically for this project these two hosts have been configured identically with the aim of N+1 redundancy in the environment.
- 1x Intel Xeon E5-2620 v3 2.4Ghz 6 core CPU
- 6x8GB DDR3 2133mhz RAM (48GB total)
- Dell PERC H730 RAID Controller 1GB Cache
- 6x600GB 10K SAS Drives
- Dual Hot Plug Power Supplies
- 3 Dual Port 1Gbit NICs
- iDRAC8 Express
These Dell servers really have a lot going for them – as well as being UEFI enabled they come with iDRAC (for out of band management and simple OS installs) as well as plenty of RAM slots, pull out tags on the front with the service tag number, USB 3.0 and hot plug power supplies. Finally I’m really quite impressed with how quiet they run – although they will be housed in a dedicated air conditioned server room I could certainly see one of these as being ok in a well ventilated cupboard somewhere in a branch office like environment.
The first thing that will strike you about any thin client is how small (in physical dimensions) they are and the 5818v is no exception. In the past this small size meant poor hardware specifications; however, this time is long behind us.
The 5818v comes with 2GB of DDR3 RAM, a Intel Atom D2550 dual core CPU, 16GB of local storage (the SSD like disk on memory), 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet and Intel GMA 3650 graphics (it won’t run Crysis but is ideal for Flash video).
In true keeping with the idea of thin computing (frugal on power, waste and dimensions) the packing for the 5818v is small and includes the power adapter, cable and a mouse making for quick and easy deployments. You also get a stand and DVI-VGA adapter included in the box.
As far as licencing goes the Windows OEM sticker is included on the DOM meaning no sticky labels to peel off the case.
A hidden surprise comes in the concealed secure USB port which can be used to integrate wireless adapters (Wi-Fi/keyboard + mouse adapters) or USB memory sticks (could be used for BitLocker drive encryption).
For more take a look at the screenshot sequence below…
One of the great features of the 10ZiG 5818v is the WE8 operating system. Based upon Windows 8 this thin client includes the same software that makes full Windows 8 PCs fast most notably kernel hibernation. The premise goes that when you click Shutdown on your PC the core components of Windows are hibernated and saved to a single file which is very fast to read.
In testing the 5818v took a little over 41 seconds to start up without kernel hibernation turned on, with it turned on boot time to a usable PC was just over 21 seconds that’s a 2x improvement just by turning on a software feature!
To see this miracle of software in action for your self watch the above video, to lean more about kernel hibernation visit the Building Windows 8 blog at this link.